an "iris" on Netflix's Enola Holmes

By Anaka Bretzke



courtesy of imdb.com


To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of mystery films. To be frank, I loathe them, and the stories of Sherlock Holmes fall perfectly into that category. However, Enola Holmes has become one of my few exceptions.


One of Netflix’s newest films focuses on the story of young Enola Holmes (Millie Bobby Brown), the younger sister of none other than Sherlock Holmes. After the sudden disappearance of her mother Eudoria (Helena Bohnam Carter) on the eve of her sixteenth birthday, Enola’s brothers Sherlock (Henry Cavill) and Mycroft (Sam Claflin) make her their ward and insist she be sent to a finishing school to mold her into what society believes is a “proper” young lady. She refuses, and proceeds to run away in search of her mother after she had left behind several mysterious gifts containing hidden irises (messages). Her journey is soon interrupted after a young runaway Lord (Louis Partridge), complicates her pursuit.


Courtesy of Forbes.com


The film is based on the book series by Nancy Springer, which I had no idea existed until I did some background research. I was wary at first, but I'm a fan of Millie Bobby Brown’s past work on Stranger Things, so my interest was piqued. Not only did Millie star in the film, but she also was one of the producers on board.


One of the most notable praises I have for this film (without dishing all the spoilers of course) is the storytelling. Driven by word games, the plot is full of unexpected and surprisingly intense twists and turns. Just when you think you know what’s going to happen, the plot takes a completely different direction. Additionally, feminism plays a significant role in the film, reflecting on social issues during the time period that are still relevant in today's society. But I won’t give too much away concerning that subject.


Although, one critique would be the breaking of the fourth wall. I still can't decide how I feel about that creative choice, but at times it did make me cringe a little.


However, the highlight of the film is Millie Bobby Brown’s standout performance. She has proven in the past playing Eleven that her acting skills are mature beyond her years. Brown’s powerful acting in the film has further established her versatility as an actor, and I believe she has overcome the difficult task of being pigeonholed into a role after her iconic performance on Stranger Things.


If you are not a fan of Millie Bobby Brown (but who isn’t?), Henry Cavill’s attractiveness is reason enough to watch.


In a year where Hollywood has had somewhat of a movie “drought,” Enola Holmes is an exciting piece of much needed film content in part through its captivating performances, clever storytelling, and management to convey a powerful, yet, relevant message (or should I say iris?) to its viewers that indeed our "future is up to us."

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